Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of traveling abroad to Panama City, Panama. Aside from enjoying the sunny, 85-degree weather everyday, I was also fortunate enough to be able to soak in some of the local culture and gain an understanding of their customs. As a public relations and marketing professional, I was on the lookout for ways Panamanians market to foreign visitors. Here are a couple of my key takeaways:
1.) Provide an authentic experience – Panamanians offer their visitors a unique and genuine experience, from dining to dancing, which encourages guests to return time and time again. They pay special attention to their guests and ensure they’re immersed in the culture. For example, during my visit to Emberá Village, located just outside of Panama City, I truly felt like I was part of their family. It is one thing to simply serve your guests food and perform a traditional dance, but it is another to actually invite your guests to dance with you, see how the food is prepared and play with the local kids.
2.) Display strengths – Panama has many unique strengths, and they know how to play them well! Known for its architecturally stunning buildings, breathtaking rainforests and the infamous Panama Canal, Panamanians know how to display their country as the beautiful and unique place it is. My trip through the Panama Canal was not only an experience of a lifetime, especially since this year marks the Canal’s centennial anniversary, it was also an experience in which I had the opportunity to see firsthand how Panamanians proudly showcase and support their country’s strengths.
Tagged Laura Jung, Marketing, Morningstar Communications, Panama
My takeaways from Panama relate to how we do business at Morningstar Communications. We believe in giving each of our clients to an authentic experience and treating them as part of our Morningstar Communications family. We also believe that in order to best serve our clients and colleagues, we must know and play into our strengths, both individually and as a company.
At Morningstar Communications we know a thing or two about volunteering. From fostering shelter dogs to serving on the board for a charity, every one of my colleagues devotes his or her time to meaningful causes. Of course, volunteering is not limited to personal causes. Many of us at Morningstar Communications also offer our time as volunteers to professional associations and events.
Volunteering personally and professionally provides:
1. An opportunity to strengthen skills
2. A broadening of personal and professional networks
3. A new or enhanced meaning to one’s life and/or career
I recently had the opportunity to add to my volunteer efforts by assisting with the KC/IABC Business Communicators Summit (taking place on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014). I helped compile and create the program prior to the Summit, and will also assist with various activities during the event. Volunteering with a professional association brought new meaning to the words “professional development.” Not only have I made new professional contacts and strengthened my writing skills, but I have also found a deeper connection to my career and have grown professionally.Tagged Laura Jung, Morningstar Communications, Professional Development, Volunteer
Paula Deen is well-known for her butter-filled recipes and Southern charm. However, she is currently making headlines because she is in the middle of a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit. While it may be hard to imagine Deen as anything but a kind woman with a love of all things fried, her empire is taking hit after hit. Last Friday, The Food Network announced its removal of Deen’s show after being on air for more than a decade and on Monday, Smithfield, the pork company, released a statement saying that Deen will no longer be its spokesperson.
Deen’s admittance to using racial slurs, as well as a highly edited apology video spurred The Food Network’s and Smithfield’s decisions. Public relations professionals everywhere are shaking their heads after Deen decided to skip out on an interview with The Today Show, and then quickly withdrew her apology video posted on YouTube.
Effective crisis communications requires a quick response in which genuine concern is expressed. It appears as though Deen didn’t get the memo as her initial response was premature and lacked sincere remorse. Adding fuel to the fire, Deen removed her hasty apology video, replaced it with another and missed her first opportunity to address the public on The Today Show.
It is hard to say whether or not Paula Deen will be able to overcome this PR nightmare, but one thing is for certain: Discrimination of any kind has the ability to destroy lives and reduce successful empires to rubble.Tagged crisis communications, Laura Jung, Morningstar Communications, Paula Deen